More than 150 groups apply to become Ontario Health Teams as competition for care intensifies
2019-06-18 from here
The Ontario government has received an enthusiastic response to one aspect of its overhaul of the health-care system, with more than 150 ad-hoc groups of hospital leaders, doctors, home-care providers and others applying to become Ontario Health Teams.
The avalanche of applications means it is a “possibility” that Premier Doug Ford’s government will eventually establish more than the 30 to 50 teams it envisioned when it announced the sweeping reforms in February, Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
“We were extremely pleased, both in terms of number, but also [in terms of] geography,” Ms. Elliott said of the kickoff of the health-team plan. “We’ve received applications from all parts of Ontario.” Ms. Elliott made the comments in an interview with The Globe and Mail on Friday.
She was joined by Bill Hatanaka, the first chair of the board of directors of Ontario Health, the new superagency that is absorbing the duties of six health agencies, including Cancer Care Ontario, and 14 Local Health Integration Networks, or LHINs, the regional authorities that co-ordinate home care and manage the waiting lists for long-term care.
In his first interview since taking the job, Mr. Hatanaka, a former chief executive officer of the OPSEU Pension Trust and a wide receiver in the Canadian Football League in the 1970s, said he was struck by the amount of “duplication and overlap” in Ontario’s disjointed health-care system.
“What I see is immense complexity,” Mr. Hatanaka said. “And I also see an unbelievable number of caring people within the organizations, all trying to do the right thing. But it’s the navigational component – and the patient experience – that’s uneven.”
The government plans to name seven to 10 teams as early adopters of the concept in the fall.
Ontario’s health restructuring is supposed to centralize management in Ontario Health while devolving co-ordination of on-the-ground care to new teams made up of hospitals, long-term care homes, home-care agencies, family health teams and community health centres, among others.
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